Ci House Decor and Renovation Wish List 2014

Pinterest is my favorite, but sometimes I want to really visualize the things that I have been pinning and pondering. This is also a good way to visualize budgeting for me. Not going to link to all the items, as you can go to my pinterest page if you are interested in learning more. The kitchen mock-up is just Ikea’s cool kitchen design tool that is a blast to mess with.

Questions I am really pondering:

• I’m OBSESSED with Benjamin Moore Gentlemen’s Gray paint color. Can I be brave enough to paint my son’s whole room that dark??
• Can I cobble together white couch and chair slipcovers on the cheap?
• Do I really need to invest in rug pads?
• Do I have a bathroom that can really handle a black ceiling? It can totally handle a fancy chandelier. Right?
• I’m still relaying on Ikea a lot. Is that a bad thing?


You have to ask the hard hitting questions, right? As for now, here are some of my collected wish list ideas.



Balcony Garden 2014

garden 2014
It seems I do this once a year, but skipped last year. I get to planning new things for my back deck. This year seems especially exciting after the awful winter we just had!
In keeping with my #96 in my #100in500 goals, I am going to get an electrician to come and light my outdoor world! At first I was thinking chandelier, but being how this is the windy city, perhaps something a little closer to home might work better. I can add as many twinkle lights as my heart desires though, right?
So here it is! The 2014 back deck plan with budget! The big bucks will go towards the cushions and pillows, but that’s where I think it should go! I want to spend as much cozy time in nice weather as possible this summer. I love that they all match, but are not totally matchy-matchy. It reminds me of a little “Mixing Patterns” post I did a while ago. Also going to try for a little privacy garden wall using the Ikea Socker. Not convinced this is the final solution, but interested to see.
I may keep my current run, but it could use a little refreshing, and this could be just the ticket.

2014’s Living Room / Office Reboot

I drive my husband crazy with how much I love to rearrange our furniture. Sometimes I just like to do it in my head for fun! It helps to jot it down on paper. This year I focus on perfecting my living room! Here is the plan:




See the arrows? Those are my ‘wish list’ purchases for the year. Smells like a mood board to me! Ahh, it’s been too long since an old fashioned mood board hit the Ci! Welcome to a brand new year!!!




And here is the breakdown:

a. So, I will start with the really fun. This is art!  Not really practical in the sense of I NEED IT, but – well… I WANT IT. Have for a long time. The String Light by Patrick Townsend! So simple, so beautiful. Those little red lights make me hyperventilate a little. Plus: I have the perfect spot for it. ($175)

b. I decided a while ago what color I want to turn this room into – but this is the year! Benjamin Moore – Revere Pewter. Still debating painting the beige ceramic tile around the fireplace. Have you ever seen anyone with painted ceramic tile? I love painted brick… hmmmm.

c. With the proper anchors, do you think this will hold our TV and games to the wall safely? IKEA EKBY ÖSTEN/ EKBY OXIE  ($40)

d. We need a bigger desk, I considered fashioning one out of an existing door, but it may be too big. Plus, my husband isn’t that down with it – and he uses the desk the most right now. However, I think that this will fit into the space nicely and for a great price. (It’s actually a dining room table!) IKEA MELLTORP Table, white ($65)

e. That desk will require some storage space. Enter the IKEA HELMER Drawer unit on casters, white ($40)

f. This will be my quest – find the perfect antique mirror for above the fireplace! You know I will be hunting through the Chicago classifieds! Here’s a contender! ($129)

So – for less than $500 (not including cost of paint), we can have an updated and useful living space this year, that includes found objects and a true work of art. Happy 2014!

Cool & Peaceful Paint Colors

colors for house

I have discussed paint colors for my condo quite a bit on this blog. I first started contemplating it way back in 2009! It’s been such a fun work in progress for me. It helps me to stick with one paint brand (Benjamin Moore) and frequent my same favorite paint store (Thybony).

It’s taken me a long time to embrace and accept my love of cool neutral tones, but here I am. After all this time, and collection of ideas, it’s what I have discovered about myself. I also want my house to be cohesive and peaceful. I pinned this photo of the ocean a while back (via A Well Traveled Woman) because I loved the colors and emotion of it.

I am confident in the color choices I have already painted on my walls. Still very happy with the Deep Space with white chair rails in my dining room. (these are just random instagram pix from my feed, so bear with me.)

Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 3.20.35 PM

The kitchen took a bit to figure out. I do love the Black Panther on the two walls, the chalkboard paint on a select few, and I really love the Lacey Pearl on all the others. But the faux stainless backsplash I tried? That has since been painted black chalkboard and I like it much beter.

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Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 3.31.54 PMScreen shot 2013-06-04 at 3.28.01 PM

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Lastly, I do love the Stonington Gray in the foyer and hallway, but unfortunately I chose flat paint and now it’s already looking smudged and dirty. Big sigh – I’ll be doing it again someday soon.

It’s the rest of the rooms that I keep waffling on, but I think I am nearing the finish line. And here it is! Some reused from other rooms, some new!

Bathroom: Gray Wisp 

Master Bedroom: Lacey Pearl

Living Room: Revere Pewter

2nd Bedroom: Storm

All trim and ceilings:  Decorator White

But, these too could change! That’s the fun of it!

Mixing Patterns

My long time favorite hotel is Austin Texas’ Hotel San Jose. One of the things that has always stood out to me is their mix of patterns used on all of the pillows in the rooms. It’s an amazing contrast to the minimalism around them. Like this, see?

Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 3.03.53 PM

So it got me thinking, it can’t be that hard to whip up some pillow covers, right? And then I remembered that I sold a pattern on Spoonflower, so I have some credits. 🙂 (Note: I would so love to design way more patterns on Spoonflower than I currently have. It’s so fun!)

This fabric combo makes me drool all over, but I really only want to pick about 4 of them. Which 4 would you pick?



1. Ocean_paisley by Wiccked

2. Traditional colonial with a half twist by edsel2084

3. Paisley_bright by Wiccked

4. Swirlyblue by Edsel2084

5. Ghostly paisley in bloodlust by Cateanevski

6. Snow_paisley by Wiccked

7. Blue and white paisley by Nimochka

8. Love birds – small gray by Holly_helgeson

9. Fern_paisley_batik by Wiccked

10. Paisley – black&white by Jane_kriss

(cute doggie pic via Superficial Snapshots Blog )

2013: The Year Of The Bathroom

Twenty-12 has been the year of the KITCHEN around my house, but next up will be the BATHROOM! To get myself started with the thinking process, I have whipped up a little Ci mood board. Here it is!


IKEA BAROMETER Ceiling track $50
BENJAMIN MOORE Lakeside Cabin $50
IKEA MUSIK Wall lamp $15
IKEA HEMNES Shelving unit $150
IKEA GRUNDTAL Hanger $4.00
IKEA VIRSERUM Frame, white $30
IKEA GODMORGON Mirror cabinet with 2 doors $180
IKEA GRUNDTAL Towel holder $20
IKEA FRÄJEN x6 Bath sheet, white $60
IKEA GRUNDTAL Toilet roll holder $6
WEST ELM Side Table $103
TARGET Bath Caddy $37
SIMPLE HUMAN Retro Round Step Can $26
CRATE & BARREL Reversible White 24″x36″ Bath Rug $40
CRATE & BARREL x3 Square Wire Basket $60
 TOTAL: $835

Colors For Resale

I’m not planning on selling my condo anytime soon, but I am starting to think of it as a someday possibility. It has me thinking: What paint colors would be good for resale? What do you think about these Benny Moore apples?


Balcony Garden 2012 (With Upside Down Tomatoes!)

Last April, I drew up a map of what my garden was going to look like in the spring and summer, and it worked out very well for me! I will be redoing a lot of the same planting configurations this year, including the upside down tomatoes which where so fun and easy! I just took a couple of galvanized pails from Home Depot, drilled a 3 inch wide hole in the bottom, covered the hole with some screen I cut to size then sliced a slit in, threaded a small tomato plant though the screen and hole, added soil, then hung up with some chain from the roof of my balcony. They grew pretty well, even though I planted the tomatoes kind of late.

I will be earlier this year and continue my Mother’s Day planting tradition. The plants I grow in my garden take in the fact that I have an east facing balcony, so the ones I have already tried have loved it there. This year I am adding spinach and radishes for the first time, so we shall see. Here’s my shopping list:

  • 2 tomato plants
  • spinach
  • kale
  • radishes
  • cilantro
  • peppers
  • parsley
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • basil

As far as how it will look, I have come up with a visual wish list of items I would like to add this year, included some bright green astroturf and a fun orange grill. I wanted a smallish grill that cost less than $300 – and the orange is such a bonus. How fun! I can’t wait!

Wish list shopping list:

IKEA STRÅLA Light chain 40 snowballs, outdoor, white $19.99
IKEA ÄPPLARÖ Storage bench, brown $69.99
AMAZON Indoor/Outdoor Green Artificial Grass Turf Area Rug 6’x8′ by Dean Flooring Company $39.99
IKEA SOLVINDEN Solar/wind-powered pendant lamp, white $29.99
HOME DEPOT STOK Island Gas Grill $299.00
IKEA GRENÖ Cushion, checkered, stripe gray $9.99
IKEA GRENÖ Pad, checkered, stripe gray $14.99

EDITED TO ADD: The day after I posted this, this grill was recalled. Wha-wahhhh.